Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stay in Bed...and Watch TV!

I admit it. I haven’t been reading romance for the last couple of days. Instead I’ve been glued to Olympic coverage which I find oddly postage stamped all over my cable channels. I think I’ve finally figured out where and when I can find the broadcasts, so I’ve been able to indulge in my five-ring obsession.

I’ve watched some interesting sports. Handball. We used to play that in elementary school against a wall. In the Olympics, it looks more like soccer, with defended goals and a team of players on both sides. Why do they bounce the ball sometimes and not others? Watched and enjoyed, could not comprehend.

There has been the obligatory soccer and basketball as well as some hockey. No, it’s not called field hockey, the NBC sports dude told me. Just plain hockey. ‘Kay. But I did pick up on the fact that he was sportscasting the event from 30 Rock (that’s Rockefeller Plaza in NYC). Hey, he’s watching it on teevee the same as me!

People are complaining (in my own household, no less) that some sports don’t deserve to be Olympic sports. Surfer Guy, who went to college on a high-jumping scholarship, says that track & field events are the purest of the pure. But synchronized diving? I would have shaken my head at BMX cycling events, until Surfer Guy and Son 2 watched the Olympic Trials in person and came home thrilled by the sport.

Then there’s the ignorant who say volleyball has no place at the Olympics, in either its indoor or beach form. Hey! Volleyball’s the Ridgway passion. And, actually, the sportscaster told me Friday that indoor volleyball is the #2 sport in the world after soccer! In Poland, the fans go crazy about it, while here in the U.S., spectators behave as if they’re watching tennis (this is kinda true, and actually a plus in my book). As for beach volleyball…well, it’s a very taxing sport. Look at the kind of bodies it develops (the guys in the pix are pro v-ball players).


Go ahead, look again.

So volleyball is my sacred cow. What’s yours? Or is there a sport new to you that you’re enjoying by watching the Olympic coverage?

24 comments:

Michele Hauf said...

Oh dear. Nice pic on the bottom there. Hmm, I'd better study it a bit. Yep. Niiiice.

I'm not much into Summer Olympics. WInter is my thing. I like the ice skating and skiing and luge.

Did I hear the Winter games won't be for another two years? ANd where will they be?

Christie Ridgway said...

Michele: Yeah, they changed the Olympic schedule so you get them every 2 years now, alternating between summer, winter. In 2010 they'll be in Vancouver.

I also like the winter sports. But can't wait to see the track & field events and was stoked to watch the swimming relay the other night and see the US pull out the gold! The guys who swam the anchor leg and did an incredible job to win went to my alma mater. Go Gauchos! (University of California at Santa Barbara.)

Sean and Anna said...

My whole family has Olympic fever. We've watched all we could and the kids were upset when I wouldn't let them stay up last night- they started back to school yesterday. I'm hooked on Phelps and US swimming. I was a big Phelps fan back in the last games too! My dad was a swimmer and diver when he was a kid so I think that's where my fascination started. I'm also a fan of track-I used to run and high jump when I was young, back in the dino days:)

Christie Ridgway said...

Anna: I'm a Phelps fan (or "phan" like that commercial) too. Did you see that piece on him last night with his snoring dog and how much he eats a day? Wow.

I'm looking forward to the track & field events. My family always loved the Olympics and then Surfer Guy's grandfather was on the U.S. Olympic team (hurdles) long ago. We have some of the memorobilia he brought back hanging in our family room.

Helen Brenna said...

It's been great watching Phelps swim. That relay race the other night was awesome.

I think my favorite, though, is gymnastics. Amazing stuff!

Betina Krahn said...

Great pic, Christie!

I've found myself unexpectedly enthralled by the Olympics-- starting with the fabulous opening ceremony. Wow. Just wow. 2008 drummers. I was impressed and intimidated both.

My favorite for sentimental reasons is swimming. My roomie my first year of college was a swimmer and I got sucked into that whole "swimmer" thing for a while. Plus, I love swimming myself-- love water of all kinds. I just wish the redoubtable Michael Phelps hadn't looked like he was having a seizure after the 400 medly. And I think Aaron Piersal is one class act.

But I'm now fascinated by the gymnastics and it's mostly the human drama of it all that's captured me. The strength and agility of those people. I'm a little concerned about those itty bitty Chinese girls who seem to be about 11 years old. . . when they're supposed to be 16. What's with that?

I think I've had enough of the women's beach volleyball to last a lifetime. (and Christie, I love volleyball-- would LOVE to see the men's, but never seem to get that on MY tv!) I now know the dating history, and procreational plans of women whose butt cheeks (hanging our of teeny mesh bikini briefs!) are scored into my brain. More than I wanted to know. Enough already. I was thinking last night: surely there are other athletes they can show doing something worthy.

Yeah, how about those men's volleyball contenders? I could get to be a fan real quick!

Christie Ridgway said...

Betina: It's hard for me to believe those little gymnasts are 16, no matter how much eye shadow they put on them. But interesting, there's a British diver, a guy, who is 14. So it must be different for different sports/genders?

Surfer Guy thought those mesh bikinis are really cute. Wouldn't you know. I did like the story of Kerry and her husband. She lost her ring and was desperate to get i back because it's engraved with the name he gave her: "Six Feet of Sunshine." That's romantic.

I watched men's indoor this morning. Brazil (#1 in the world) v. Serbia. Exciting! I'll go look to see when men's beach is on. Will report back.

Tori Lennox said...

I love the Olympics!!! I watch sports I'd ordinarily never touch with a ten foot pole. But my favorites are swimming and gymnastics for the summer games. Love those hunky, hot swimmers! :)

lois greiman said...

I'm obsessed toooo. But the gymnasts are my favorites.

The six feet of sunshine was beautiful though wasn't it. Wish I had come up with that line for a book.

Oh, and the 41 year old swimmer. How can a woman even pack that much muscle onto her body. Amazing.

Even the female weight lifters fascinated me. Those tiny Asian women with their little voices, yelling at the weights. Good stuff. Have yet to find any of the equestrian sports but maybe that's best. They always make me cry. Hmmm

Christie Ridgway said...

Tori: I just remembered that during the last Olympics I was writing a book and I had the hero swim a lot because I was so inspired by those wet Olympians!

Lois: I caught a bit of dressage. It's taking place in Hong Kong.

You can google for the Olympic schedule of your fave sports, but I didn't immediately see how to tell when one's fave thing was going to be televised (or IF it's going to be televised).

For example: Men's beach volleyball took place today, but I can't tell if I can watch it tonight.

Christie Ridgway said...

Hah. Son 1 just called from the beach. He's going to be on the local news tonight playing beach volleyball with his best buddy. They're doing a spot on the popularity of the sport!

Cindy Gerard said...

I'm usually an avid Olympics watcher but this summer my life has been so crazy I've only caught bits and pieces. Must admit to being a gymnastic fan. I'm enthralled by what those people can do ...

Estella said...

I still like the old tried and true, mens basketball.

Keri Ford said...

Always a gymnastic fan. Usually all I watch, but this year the hubby and I are big in the swimming and I'm catching the schronized (sp?? the one where two of them do it at the same time) diving during the day.

Liza said...

I'm loving the olympics. I love to watch gymnastics, swimming, and diving!

Christie Ridgway said...

I haven't caught any men's b-ball yet, Estella. I know the men in my house are interested in that.

Keri: We've watched some of both the men and women's synchronized diving. It looks hard! And the gymnastics is great, as always.

Playground Monitor said...

Olympic junkie here! I'm a little partial to track because #2 son went to college on a track scholarship. Now he's in grad school and is a graduate assistant track coach. We got to go to some track events at the 96 Atlanta games. What a thrill!

I like swimming too, especially because I know one of the US swimmer's mother. Our hometown girl won a bronze last night in the 100m backstroke. She swims the 200m back on Saturday. It's her best event and she's the current record holder.

Also, a girl #1 son ran track with in high school is running the 100m hurdles on Sunday. Her father was here with the university and she runs for her native Nigeria.

It's so exciting when you actually KNOW somebody who's competing.

As for volleyball -- the DH plays competitive v-ball so I get to watch regardless. But it's not too hard to watch those hard bodies bump, set and spike -- especially shirtless on the sand. ;-)

Go Team USA!

Marilyn

Debra Dixon said...

I'm checking in late today!

But that's because I've been on the phone discussing "the original reality show" with a bunch of people today. I cannot turn the tv on during the day because I'll just keep watching.

I love the Olympics. Always have. When I sold my first book my local chapter gave me an "Olympic" medal as a joke. Yeah, I've been an Olympic fan forever.

Christie Ridgway said...

Oh, Deb. Love it, the "original reality show"!

Marilyn: You dh is in a v-ball league? Very cool. The teens here are on their high school team and there is a competitive club team that we so far have resisted because it's very expensive and requires a LOT of travel. With studies, I don't think the kids have the time.

They play at the beach and then go to the municipal gym on Sundays and play pick-up. They have their "six" now which go together and they play against older, experienced players who are nice...but don't let them just win!

catslady said...

I love the olympics - gynastics, swimming, diving etc. Although I missed it, at 2AM there are all kinds of different sports. My husband was telling me about women's air rifle competition. They actually shoot in between heart beats.

Playground Monitor said...

I should have made it clear the DH sometimes plays on a seniors' team. He was in the senior Olympics last year, but alas, no medal. Mostly he plays with the city adult volleyball league. I'm urging him to become a certified referee before he retires. Then he can travel around and ref games for money. I told him being an Olympic ref would be really nice. ;-) But I'd settle for him to travel some place close to a beach.

limecello said...

Heh - I admit my reading has taken second place to the Olympics as well. [I mean those only come around every four years, per season]
I love love love beach volleyball. And track and field. And gymnastics. I don't get cycling. The whole teams not teams sole winner, and groups are faster than people alone [:P shoulda taken more physics I guess]
I like the equestrian events as well. I just love the olympics :P. And all the stories the athletes have.

Fancy said...

I'm so addicted to the Olympics now that I channel surf for hours between the different sports. I'm love the Equestrian, some of the horses' names are pretty interesting.

And I watch Men Diving just for the watching the men. Some of then are pretty hot and when they come out of the water, wet. It's just wow. :)

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